RENO 1969


I flew home from the debacle at Orange County and promptly opened, inspected & serviced Fam Dancy. I went next door to the FAA office and scheduled the inspector to come inspect and do the paper work to certify the airplane. At that time every homebuilt was recertified each year by the FAA directly. This put the airplane ready for Reno 1969.

I flew Fam Dancy to Reno with owner Gordon Renfroe flying alongside in Ken Brock's Stinson 108. The time at Reno was disappointing for both owners and myself. The airplane was NOT going any faster than it had before I became involved with it. And since other racers were going faster that meant that the finishing place was lower. We finished fourth in the consolation. On the trip home the main fuel tank sprung a leak between Reno and Bishop, CA. We made arrangements with a local maintenance hangar operator to keep the airplane indoors while we used his tools and equipment to remove the tank for welding. He didn't want to work on this little biplane anyway since his project was a big biplane, a Beech Staggerwing. I took the tank (downtown?) to Bishop and found a welding shop with a heli-arc. The next afternoon the airplane was back together, leak tested and ready to fly home to Long Beach.

1969pilots.jpg (88660 bytes)


This tattered old photo is from my collection. In the front row are (L to R) D. Shultz, Fred Rechenmacher, Tom Aberle and Bud Smith. Standing in the back row are (L to R) Clem Fisher, - - - - - - , Bill Boland, Bob Hugo, Dave Forbes and - - - - - - .  (sorry fella's, I'll locate your names soon!!!)

Shortly afterward Bill, Junie, Gordon and I mutually agreed that it was time for me to move on. I sold my '64 Vette to buy a Dodge (ex-mail) van and installed my toolbox, welding setup, parts bins and the like. In a few weeks I had put together a mobile aircraft maintenance service which made me a target of most FBO's, but paid my bills for a year or two.

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